As the UK has made its transition to the government’s ‘Living With Covid’ plan, most domestic pandemic restrictions were lifted in February—meaning masks haven’t been mandatory for weeks and sometimes it’s easy to forget they exist.
But as the summer approaches and travel is back on the cards it’s worth remembering that some airlines will still ask you to wear a face mask on your flight. This can vary depending on which destination you’re going to and where in the UK you’re departing from – even if your carrier has announced a relaxation in their coronavirus policies.
So, which airlines are making you wear a mask on the plane? Here is everything you need to know.
Do you have to wear a mask on a British Airways flight?
‘From 16 March, our mask policy is changing,’ British Airways told its customers last month. ‘Where we’re clear the destination you’re travelling to doesn’t require a face mask on board, it will become optional.’
So, essentially, you’re safe for flights to Iceland and Norway (where facemarks aren’t required on planes) but other destinations might be trickier and it probably makes sense to keep a mask handy just in case you need it on board and when you land. Restrictions change fast and you don’t want to get caught out.
Do you have to wear a mask on a Virgin Atlantic flight?
Since March 16, Virgin Atlantic has been slowly relaxing its mask rules. Some destinations require you to put on a mask before disembarking from the place. For example, passengers flying to the Caribbean from Heathrow or Manchester have a choice about whether or not to wear a mask on board but will need to put one on at the other end.
‘Masks will still be required prior to disembarking in Caribbean destinations as they remain an airport requirement throughout the Caribbean islands,’ the airline said in a statement. Additionally, masks are still required on other routes to destinations where masks are required during transit before entry, including to America, where the requirement won’t end until April 18 at the earliest.
Do you have to wear a mask on a EasyJet flight?
Since March 27, EasyJet have relaxed their rules so that masks aren’t mandatory if you’re flying from the England to a destination that doesn’t require them, for example, Hungary, Norway or Gibraltar.
But on flights leaving from Scotland or arriving in countries that still require face masks when travelling, you will have to wear one on board.
Do you still have to wear a mask on a Ryanair flight?
No grey areas, no loopholes, you still have to wear a face mask on every single Ryanair flight, according to their website. This is in line with the current European Union Aviation Safety Agency guidelines and there has been no indication from the airline when this will be lifted.
Do you have to wear a mask on a TUI flight?
Since last month, masks have been optional on TUI flights departing from England and Northern Ireland. The airline still strongly recommends wearing them and they’re required if you’re flying from Scotland or Wales.
Additionally, if you’re travelling to a destination where mask rules are stricter, like America or Italy, you still have to wear one and it’s worth keeping a mask in your bag in case you need it at your final destination.
Do you have to wear a mask on a Jet2 flight?
Jet2 was the first airline in the UK to make masks optional on nearly all of its flights. However, they still have to be worn if you’re flying from Scotland and they also recommend keeping a mask on you for when you arrive at your holiday destination.